8 May 2019 11:44

Moscow, Damascus urge U.S. to pass at-Tanf zone under Syrian govt.'s control

MOSCOW. May 8 (Interfax) - The U.S. military should pass the at-Tanf area, where the Rukban refugee camp is situated, under control of the Syrian government, the interagency coordination staffs of Russia and Syria said in a joint statement.

"An ultimate resolution of all humanitarian problems of Rukban is possible only if U.S.-backed armed groups stop keeping Syrian citizens in the camp, U.S. troops leave the at-Tanf zone they have illegally occupied, and the area is passed under control of the Syrian government forces," the statement said.

The U.S. army is capable of supplying any cargo to Rukban using the logistics of the U.S. base in at-Tanf, it said.

"Russia and Syria are sure that UN humanitarian convoys cannot solve the problem of refugee camps situated in the U.S.-held zone," the statement said.

Humanitarian aid must be given to all Syrians throughout the Syrian territory without any preconditions in order to promote a safe and voluntary return of Syrian citizens to places of their permanent residence, it said.

"We are urging the United States and its allies to stop hindering the return of Syrian citizens to places of their pre-war residence. Concrete deeds, above all, the lifting of economic sanctions against the Syrian people, are necessary to assist in the Syrian government's effort toward refugees' return," the statement said.